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Study in Canada FAQ

The first step is to get admission to a Canadian school that is designated by the Government of Canada. Only designated institutions can be used to support a study permit application. Once you have a letter of acceptance, you can apply for a study permit. Applications can be made:

  1. At the foreign Canadian Visa Office responsible for their country or region.
  2. At a Canadian Port of Entry (For permanent residents or citizens of USA, Saint-Pierre et Miquelon and Greenland only).

All new study permits are issued at a Canadian port of entry. An applicant who has submitted an application to a foreign Canadian Visa Office will be issued a letter of approval advising him/her to travel to a Canadian port of entry to have the study permit issued in his/her passport. A study permit should be issued for the duration of the person’s studies.

Applicants who are citizens or permanent residents of USA, Saint-Pierre et Miquelon and Greenland may apply directly at a Canadian port of entry without having to submit an application to a visa office.

Applicants from countries requiring a Temporary Residence Visa must submit their passports along with their study permit application to a Canadian Visa Office abroad. A TRV will be issued in the passport to allow such applicants to travel to Canada to have their study permits issued at a Canadian port of entry.

You will need to prove that you have the following funds to study in Canada:

Number of Persons All provinces except Quebec Quebec
Single Student Tuition for the first year plus $10,000 for a 2-month period (or $833 per month) Tuition for the first year plus $11,000 for a 12-month period (or $917 per month)
+ one family member $4,000 for a 12-month period (or $333 per month) $5,100 more for a person 18 years of age or older for a 12-month period (or $425 per month)

$3,800 more for a person under 18 years of age for a 12-month period (or $317 per month)
+ each additional family member $3,000 for a 12-month period per dependent child of any age (or $255 per month) $5,125 more for a person 18 years of age or older for a 12-month period (or $427 per month)

$1,903 more for a person under 18 years of age for a 12-month period (or $159 per month)

The following documents can be used as proof of funds:

  • proof of a Canadian bank account in your name if money has been transferred to Canada;
  • proof of a student/education loan from a financial institution;
  • your bank statements for the past four months;
  • a bank draft in convertible currency;
  • proof of payment of tuition and accommodation fees;
  • a letter from the person or institution providing you with money (including proof of employment, bank statements, income tax returns, etc, for the person providing you with money); and
  • proof of funding paid from within Canada if you have a scholarship or are in a Canadian-funded educational program.

A growing number of Canadian institutions offer entrance scholarships for international students. Information can be obtained through the financial aid office of the school that you wish to attend.

The Ministry of Education in your home country may also have information for you on scholarships.

No. You do not need to provide proof of English ability in a study permit application. You may, however, need to submit proof of language ability in order to gain acceptance to a Canadian school.

Paper applications are processed in an average of 7 weeks, with processing times ranging from 2 to 19 weeks, depending on the visa office.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada is implementing an online application portal at certain visa offices. Processing times are significantly lower using online methods (ie. as little as 3 days).

You need to first apply for a Certificat d’acceptation de Quebec (CAQ) and then apply for a study permit. The application fee for a CAQ is $107 CAD.

It depends on the length of the course. You don't need a study permit for a course of study that is six months or less. There is a study permit exemption for short courses. However, if your course is longer than six months, you cannot study without a study permit. You will need to apply for a study permit in that case.

When assessing study permit applications, visa officers determine whether an applicant is a bona fide student. This is determined through a number of factors, including but not limited to:

  • The length of time the student plans to spend in Canada;
  • The means by which the student will support themselves while studying;
  • The student’s obligations and ties to their home country;
  • The likelihood of the applicant leaving Canada after their temporary status ends; and
  • General compliance to government regulations.

An individual may be refused a study permit if the visa officer reviewing their file determines that they are not a bona fide student. Reasons for refusal can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The visa officer does not believe the applicant will leave Canada after their status ends. This can be determined because of lack of ties to the applicant’s home country, the political/economic state of their country at the time of review, or if the applicant has overstayed previous temporary visas in any country;
  • The visa officer does not feel the applicant’s acceptance to a Canadian institution is genuine;
  • The visa officer does not believe the applicant has the means to support themselves while studying in Canada

If your application is refused, you have two options. You can either re-apply with a fresh application or contest the decision with an appeal in court. Both of these options may take several months.

Yes. Your study permit allows you to work both on-or-off-campus without a work permit. You are allowed to work off campus for up to 20 hours per week during a regular academic session and full time during scheduled breaks. Students can now start working off campus immediately after starting their studies.

If you studied full-time at a qualifying school for at least 8 months, you can apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit within 90 days of receiving your final marks. Your study permit must be valid at the time of your application. The PGWP is issued for the same duration as your studies, but for a minimum of 8 months and a maximum of 3 years.

If you need to do a medical exam, you can be examined in advance by going to a designated Panel Physician.

You will need to do a medical exam if (a) you plan to remain in Canada for more than six months and (b) you lived for six or more consecutive months in a country or territory designated as high risk for certain diseases during the year immediately before the date you want to enter Canada.

You may need a criminal record check if you are coming to Canada as a student. If required, you will have to obtain a police certificate from each country or territory where you have lived for six or more months consecutively since the age of 18. Police certificates are required to determine if applicants have a criminal record. They also help visa officers make sure applicants are not a security risk to Canada.

Most post-secondary students may change their school, program, and/or field of study without needing to apply for a new study permit. The same applies for post-secondary students changing their level of study (i.e. from a bachelor’s to master’s program). Please check the conditions listed on your study permit to verify whether the study permit restricts you to studying at a particular school or program.

If you transfer to a school in Quebec, you will need to apply for a CAQ and, if necessary, a new study permit.

Primary students who are entering high school, as well as high school students who will move on to post-secondary education, must apply to modify their study permit. Students who are changing schools must inform CIC of their school changes.

If you plan to study full-time, your spouse or common-law partner may be eligible for an open work permit. He or she must pass a medical exam. An offer of employment is not required. This open work permit is appropriate if your spouse is accompanying you but is not a student. In your study permit application, you should indicate that your spouse will accompanying you to Canada. You could mention in your application cover letter that you want an open work permit for your spouse.

If your spouse wishes to study here, she should apply for his or her own study permit. 

You may submit an application for a study permit for your accompanying minor children when you apply for your own study permit. A letter of acceptance from a Canadian school will not be required.

If you are already in Canada on a study or work permit, your accompanying minor child may study without a study permit.

The age of majority is different in each province and territory, although it is usually 18 or 19 years of age. Anyone under the age of majority is considered to be a minor.

Yes, you can explore Canada as a visitor before you begin your studies. You should verify whether you need a temporary resident visa to enter Canada. Citizens of certain countries require a visa to visit Canada. Please verify whether you need a visa on our website:  http://www.canadavisa.com/canadian-immigration-visitor-visa-exemptions.html

No. Your study permit application should be complete upon submission. If a document is missing, a visa officer may make a decision on your application without giving you a chance to submit the missing document.

The age of majority is different in each province and territory, although it is usually 18 or 19 years of age. Anyone under the age of majority is considered to be a minor.

Unaccompanied minors wishing to obtain a study permit must appoint a custodian who will care for and support them while in Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada requires a notarized declaration, which has been signed by the minor’s parents in the country of origin and the custodian in Canada.

A custodian can be a family member, trusted friend or member of the school at which the minor is attending. For more information about finding a custodian, please contact the international student office of the school where the minor child plans to study.


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